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Independent Obituaries: September 20, 2023

The following obituaries appeared in the September 20, 2023 edition of the Star Valley Independent.

For more area obituaries, please visit Schwab Mortuary.

For more resources including headstones, please visit the Star Valley Historical Society.


Errol Hoopes

Errol Hoopes

Errol Hoopes passed away peacefully on September 14, 2023 due to complications of Parkinson’s disease.

Errol was the first of ten children born to Byron and Mary Hoopes. He lived a life that most cowboys would be jealous about. He was a hard working man who touched many people’s hearts in ways that only he could do. He had friends in many places and could be found where horses would hang out and he forgot more about horsemanship than many people ever learn. We will miss his quick wit, strong heart and an unduplicated personality he wore with a smile. He loved the cowboy life even though it wasn’t easy. If it was easy everyone would do it.

He is survived by his daughter Jill and her husband Cody, son Dan and his wife Amber and multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren who he loved dearly. He is also survived by his nine siblings and their spouses and many nieces and nephews.

Graveside service will be September 23 at 1pm in the Fairview Wyoming cemetery.

The family wants to thank the caregivers who touched Errol’s life. He loved them all.  Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

Pepper Grosjean

Pepper Grosjean

Bernice Alice “Pepper” Grosjean December 1, 1925 – September 8, 2023 

A longtime resident of Afton passed away on September 8, 2023. Pepper was 97 years young. She always said that age is just a number.

She is survived by seven children, Paul, Robin, Jon, Julie, Curt, Gina, and Eric, 11 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

Pepper was born in Billings, Montana to Magdalena and L.G. Brannon. She had an older brother, Willard. She and Willard were on their own a lot while their parents ran the family owned and operated Brannon Cafe. They wandered Billings and killed rattlesnakes on the rimrocks, getting into plenty of innocent trouble.

She got her lifelong nickname, Pepper, when she was a counselor at a girls camp. She liked summer camp and visiting her uncle’s or grandmother’s ranches. She rode horses and swam in the creeks and never wanted to go back home. One time she hid in the field so she could stay but her dad drove out and brought her home.

When she finished high school she went on to six months of business college and then on to work at her parents cafe. She started at the bottom peeling potatoes and washing dishes, then moved up to making sandwiches, salad, and pies. She was an excellent pie maker. During this time she joined the Civil Air Patrol and would go at night to guard the airplanes at the Billings Airport. She loved watching the planes and wanted to learn to fly. Pepper received a medal in recent years for her contribution to the Civil Air Patrol and was honored by having the Governor of Wyoming present it to her.

She met her husband, Phillip, while working at the cafe. They started dating and going to clubs to dance. They danced the Jitterbug and won prizes and people would surround them and watch. After a year and a half of dating, Phillip’s job ended and he moved back to Afton to live with his sister. They were both so lonesome that Phillip called her and said, “let’s get married.” They married June 11, 1946 and moved to Afton where they started a photography studio called Grosjean Studio and together they learned how to take pictures and run a photo business. Pepper was a good model for Phillip to practice their craft together. She also became proficient at hand painting black and white pictures before color film and was an excellent technician in the darkroom.

Between working and raising seven kids they enjoyed living in beautiful Star Valley. Swift Creek Canyon was one of Pepper’s favorite places. She took a lot of pictures there and when digital cameras came out she was always carrying her camera and shooting pictures to share on the computer with other people.

Pepper loved the leaves in the fall, hummingbirds, lilacs, sweetpeas, rocks, clouds, and especially deer in her yard.

She will be missed for her smile, laugh, and love of life.

Evan Winters

Evan Winters

Evan Burton Winters was born on April 24th, 1938 in Afton, Wyoming to Erastus Francis and Margaret Burton Winters.  On September 4, 2023, at the age of 85, he passed away peacefully at home in Herriman, Utah.  At his passing he was surrounded by his family; his wife Donna, daughter Deena, granddaughter Natalie, and Donnas’ daughters Tammy and Shel and her husband Mitch.

Evan grew up in Afton Wyoming.  There he attended elementary school, junior high school and high school.  He actively participated in school programs and events.  In high school he was on the football team, he was a student body class president and seminary president. He also played trombone in the orchestra and drums in a dance band known as “The Clefs”.

After graduating from high school in 1956 he moved to Provo, Utah and attended BYU until 1958.

In 1958 Evan served in The Southern Australia Mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints headquartered in Melbourne Australia.

He returned home in August of 1960 and worked until returning to Provo for studies at BYU.  He graduated from BYU in June 1963 with a degree in Elementary Education.

While attending BYU he met Pat (Patsy Killian of Roosevelt, Utah).  Evan and Pat married June 6, 1963 right after graduating.  They married in the Logan Temple.  Then they moved to Midvale, Utah where they lived for a year while teaching in the Murray School District.  Evan taught the fourth grade.

They moved back to Provo and Evan completed a master’s degree while also teaching at Timpanogos Elementary School in Provo.  They had two children while living in Provo, a son Ian and a daughter Deena.

In the fall of 1968 they moved to Shishmaref, Alaska where they both taught in a small elementary school for a period of two years working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Pat taught the lower grades through the fourth grade and Evan taught the upper grades through the eighth grade.  While living in Alaska, during the summer of 1969, they added another son to their family named George.

In June of 1970 they moved to Taylorsville, Utah and began operating Meadowbrook Day Nursery.  They were licensed to care for 40 children from age two years to six years and operated pretty much at full capacity.  They operated the day care center for a period of 32 years.  Over the years they cared for a few thousand children.  They loved getting to know the children and their parents.  Many community members still remember attending Meadowbrook.  They remember listening to “Mister” reading stories, singing songs, and doing art projects with him.

Evan was a devoted husband and dearly loved Pat.  They often danced to swing orchestra songs in the kitchen.  In May of 1971 they added another son to their family named Brian.

Evan and Pat closed the day care center on June 2, 2002 thus beginning their retirement.  They had invested in rental properties and so they then focused on their rentals.  Operating rentals was an interesting business and there was always an emergency to deal with.  Evan was an experienced handyman and met all kinds of needs.

During Evans’ years in Taylorsville he served as Bishop of the Taylorsville 14th Ward, and also as Bishop’s counselor.  He held several stake positions.  He served as Stake Clerk to the Taylorsville North Stake Presidency for a period of 17 years.

He served in many positions as an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America, Great Salt Lake Council.

He attended Wood Badge Training and earned the Wood Badge Beads.  He also received the Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service in Scouting.

Evan loved to sing, especially with his siblings, parents and his children.  He sang with ward and stake choirs.  He also sang in duets and quartets with ward members.

His beloved wife Pat passed away in November 2015.  Complications from her bout with cancer in the 1980s resurfaced.  She developed breathing complications from a cancerous growth in her throat.  She was a great wife and mother and was a beloved member of their Taylorsville community.

Evan married again on July 1st, 2016 to Donna Gay Catlin, a friend that he had known over the years as a neighbor and member of the ward.  He had been a home teacher to her and her husband several times over the years.  Donna’s husband had passed away a few years earlier and Evan was again assigned to be her home teacher.  Donna and Evan became better friends, fell in love, and they soon got married.

Evan was very grateful to have Donna in his life.  In October 2016 they moved to Herriman, Utah.  They loved Herriman and enjoyed living there with family close by.  They were sealed together in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple on January 15th, 2022.

He is preceded in death by his parents, E. Francis and Margaret Winters, wife Patsy Winters, brother Burton Winters, and son George Winters.

He is survived by his wife Donna Winters, daughter Deena Winters, sons Ian Winters and Brian Winters, siblings Allene, Kathleen, John, Bruce, Mary, Ann and Wayne, grandchildren Hannah, Josi, Paul, Natalie, Celeste, Alex, and great-grandchildren Evan, Alice and Charlie, and Donna’s children Tammy Westover (Rex), Shel Geisler (Mitch), Eben Wayne Powell, also added to the family dynamic is Donnas’ 23 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Evan will be greatly missed by friends and family who love him.

Funeral services will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 1250 West Atherton Drive in Taylorsville Utah.  A viewing will be held Friday September 8, 5pm – 7pm.  Funeral will be Saturday September 9 at 11am with a viewing at 10am.  Interment will be immediately thereafter at Taylorsville Cemetery 4575 South Redwood Road.

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